Microsoft Ignite 2019: Day 3

Day 3 of Microsoft Ignite is in the books, and it continues to be such an informative conference for me. While I do enjoy the community feel and more laid back nature of SpiceWorld, I have been learning so much more this week at Ignite than I have at any SpiceWorld I've attended previously. Here's some highlights from the sessions I attended this morning as well as some photos from The Hub where I spent most of my time this afternoon.

Azure Authentication

I began my morning with a sessions by John Craddock, Identity and Security Architect of XTSeminars Ltd Identity. It was arguably the best session I've attended at Microsoft Ignite so far. He covered the authentication process for Azure sign-on and the various ways that Azure synchronizes passwords with on-premises Active Directory. He also demonstrated Azure SSO and how it can be implemented in Windows 10 to provide auto sign-in via browser to Office 365 accounts. Since we have a growing number of mobile users in our office, this is something that really interested me as a possible means of providing remote access to users instead of having them cache their credentials on the laptop onsite before leaving.
He also demonstrated various passwordless sign-on methods involving Windows Hello and FIDO 2 keys. It's nice to see Microsoft adopting open sign-on methods like FIDO into Azure.

PowerShell 7

The other most notable session I attended this morning was the session highlighting some new features in the upcoming version 7 of PowerShell. The was presented by PowerShell Senior Program Manager Joseph Aiello. The biggest news was that with .Net Core 3.1, 85% of Windows PowerShell cmdlets now work in PowerShell 7 (previously called PowerShell Core), group policy support has been added, a new Get-Error cmdlet lets you review errors in scripts, and a new -Parallel parameter for the ForEach-Object cmdlet that lets you run the series of objects simultaneously instead of sequentially.

The most interested news to me from the presentation, however, was that October 2019 saw a huge increase in PowerShell startups (program launches). Linux usage of PowerShell is now much higher than it is in Windows, a fact that Microsoft actually seems to be quite proud of. PowerShell has definitely evolved from what was once a "niche tool" for IT admins, as Aiello described it, to a fully featured programming language that even nonadmins are using now on a variety of platforms. It's a great time to be a PowerShell user!

The Hub

I spent most of the afternoon visiting vendor booths and the Microsoft Showcase since I had not visited most of the vendors so far. I got a few questions answered from the Azure and Office 365 teams, including one about Planner. I personally like the interface of Planner much better than Trello since Planner's checkboxes on each bucket item makes it easy to check off completed tasks and move them to an archived section beneath your task list in the same bucket. Trello does not have this feature, and our workaround currently involves a clunky process of moving completed tasks to a bucket on a different board dedicated for completed tasks. However, the biggest thing keeping me from fully switching to Planner is the fact that it does not have a search function. I asked the Planner team about this, and while they told me that they had received requests for this previously, there were no plans on the pipeline currently to implement this feature. They did suggest I vote for the feature request on the Planner UserVoice or add it if it was not currently there. Hopefully Microsoft will make this a priority because this is the only thing keeping me from completely switching to it from Trello.

Here are some photos from other areas around The Hub. The vendors have done a pretty good job with swag and very interesting raffle items. I haven't won any raffles yet, but there's still two more days to go!

Information hub

Microsoft Humans of IT booth

Hangout room where attendees can use wireless headphones
to view any of the sessions via live video feed.

Microsoft Mechanics live show theater


My first Microsoft Ignite so far has been such an enjoyable experience, and I'm excited for some of the sessions tomorrow as well as the big celebration at Universal Studios tomorrow night. The park is apparently closing early for our event, so we will have the park all to ourselves which should be awesome. Stay tuned for updates from tomorrow!



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